HUGHES SPACE and Communications has won a $480 million contract from NASA to build three tracking and data-relay satellites, the TDRS H, I and J. It beat competition from the existing contractor, TRW.

This brings to 41 the number of HS-601 spacecraft on order (Flight International, 1-7 February). The first seven TDRS were built by TRW, the last of which will be flown aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery/STS70 in June 1995 and will be a "space spare".

The TDRS H launch is due in 1999 and the new spacecraft will add a Ka-band capacity to the Ku- and S-band on current spacecraft.

Hughes has signed a general launch-services agreement for an undisclosed number of launches by the Russian Proton booster, starting in 1997, with Lockheed Khrunichev Energia International.

Source: Flight International